A University of Oklahoma Production. Produced for the Oklahoma State Department of Health in cooperation with the State of Oklahoma Department of Mental Health. Distributed by International Film Bureau.
Director: Layton Mabrey.
Scriptwriter: Dwight V. Swain.
Coordinator: Jim Bragg.
Photographer: Wayne Rock.
G.F. Mathews, M.D., Commissioner, State Department of Health.
Charles F. Obermann, M.D., Director, Department of
Psychiatric Consultants: Charles A. Smith, M.D., A.A.
"Recognizable personages appearing in this film are not
patients in a mental institution." (According to Dwight Swain, patients were played by producers, crew and friends, since actual patients weren't legally competent to sign talent releases.) Filmed in and around Central State Hospital, Norman, Oklahoma. Jack Stevenson's article on Swain and Hockman appears in Brutarian (Vol. 1, No. 1).
Documents the case of a mental patient who is treated for schizophrenia (paranoid type) at the Oklahoma State Hospital. Summarizes the treatment of a patient from admission to the hospital to the time of discharge. Explains
the methods used in the treatment of mental diseases and stresses the value of occupational therapy in rehabilitating patients and the need for an atmosphere of calm and security.
TITLE CARD: Recognizable personages appearing in this film are not patients in a mental institution.
PARANOIA / DEPRESSION / INSTITUTIONALIZATION: Man's voice over as he is driven down a gray, snowy road. HE IS VERY PARANOID. He leans his head against the rear window. There's a close up of his eyes, then hands, then mouth. Men in dark, tweed jackets lead him into the hospital.
MEDICAL ABUSE: Nurses examine Joe. He has blood taken from his arms, a chest x-ray, and a spinal tap.
PARANOIA: Joe talks to an Oklahoman psychiatrist (with a southern accent).
He says, "They're turning my wife, you know, Peg, against me. They're taking up all of her time." Joe rings his hands. The psychiatrist replies, "Why do you think they're doing you this way?" Joe answers, "Well, I've been working on this for years. They don't know it but I'm on to them."
PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING: The narrator describes various treatments for psychological disorders, and we view these methods in action (which look somewhat barbarous to today's viewers). First there's insulin shot therapy in which a patient receives a shot (camera pans down to twitching feet), then electric shock, hydrotherapy, and cold pack therapy.
August 23, 2016 Subject:
He'll Likely Be Back
He was diagnosed as schizo. It's 1952. There are no really successful antipsychotic drugs yet. He's probably doped up which is why there's no angry outbursts. He's over what sounds like a mild psychotic episode. But who knows what'll happen in the future. Hopefully it's just a strongly schizoid personality disorder. Otherwise he'd unlikely be released.
My experience working on a psych unit was a bit different. Going "ape shit" was a frequent happening, in which case one wouldn't want the patients to have access to cue sticks, baseball bats, garden rakes, and things like that.
Good movie though in that it thoroughly explains the process.
October 24, 2015 Subject:
Open Up These Places Again - People's Lives Matter!
Just think how many lives were saved. A lot less (if any) shoot 'em ups when these hospitals existed.
Good casting. He looked rather schizo.
February 15, 2014 Subject:
Matthew Christopher Murray
December 25, 2012 Subject:
The people who created these "mental Institutions"
are "mental" and should be locked up themselves.
August 15, 2012 Subject:
To TACOSTAND...Central State Hospital, Norman, Okla. 1973-1976
To TACOSTAND from Norman. GREETINGS, fellow OKIE! Wow, I wish I was abel to speak to you PERSONALLY, I WAS LIVING in JONES Oklahoma a Long Time, but I Moved to SAN FRANCISCO now because I AM MUSICIAN, & Play GUITAR HERE.
I Wanted to FIND OUT what that little prick did in the MUSIC ROOM at CSH because last time I was a PATIENT in Central State, 1992, THERE WERE 100's Of GOOD DONTATED GUITARS but HE WOULD NOT LET PATIENTS PLAY ANY OF THEM!
I BET that Prick STOLE ALL THOSE GUITARS!
See my YouTube Channel...I have Videos from Oklahoma...Jones Oklahoma, Chicken Coop, Trains,
ALSO my OTHER YouTube Channel, W5AWG, see my VINTAGE HAM RADIO STATION I had out in JONES...
actually a couple miles North of Jones, off HOGBACK ROAD.
May 12, 2012 Subject:
This place Scares the P*** out of me!
I have lived in Norman all my life just west of Griffin Park (the farm). I have always heard stories of how badly people where mistreated and the crude treatments that took place. Tons of people escaped through out the 1960's and 70's. Most of the buildings are still standing though they are abandoned for newer ones on the same property. I have family that works for Griffin and from time to time I have to go in to drop somthing off. just driving through the campus sends a chill down my spine. This video is just another stunt the hospital used to keep everyone wanting to close it down off their backs. The hospital has about 130 patients now and employees ocasionally get the crap beat out of them by unruley patients.
September 9, 2006 Subject:
Christmas presents for Fred!
Run Fred, RUN! Look out, it's the bug house! That darned George and Betty, they framed Fred. Fred can't can't be fooled though, he knows that even the judge is in on it! They gas light poor Fred so much, he's not sure what his name is any more. Or was it something slipped into his coffee every morning? What do they want? Fred's bank account or his real estate? That's right Fred, into the bug house. Drug induced seizures, electrically induced seizures, pokes, prods, Chinese water torture! Take THAT Fred! There, everything is all better now, right buddy? Now sign over the farm and the bank account, and think twice before you cross George and Betty again!
July 14, 2006 Subject:
It Might Look Like a Big Forboding Institution, but Really It's...a Big Forboding Institution
This 50s film, made by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health, tries very hard to make its state mental hospitals look friendly and not intimidating, but it doesnÃ¢ÂÂt wholly succeed. It tells the story of Fred Clanton, a guy who began to believe his wife and brother-in-law were conspiring against him. He is committed to the state hospital in short order by a judge, where he is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and given insulin shock treatments. He gets better eventually, begins to participate in the hospitalÃ¢ÂÂs recreational therapy programs, gets a hospital job as a groundskeeper, and eventually gets to go home, where he is no longer suspicious of anyone and is grateful to the hospital for his treatment. Much is made of the hospitalÃ¢ÂÂs facilities, which are all huge and institutional. Much is also made of the therapeutic benefits of patients working at various jobs at the hospital, enough so that you start to wonder after awhile whether or not some exploitation might be going on. The positive-sounding narration fails to overcome the visuals, which tend to confirm most stereotypes about mental hospitals. The film does give a fascinating portrait of mental health treatment during the 50s, which was the heyday of treating mental patients in big institutions.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
September 7, 2004 Subject:
Watch Out, You Could Be Next
Fred Clanton is committed to the Oklahoma State mental hospital because he thinks his wife Betty and friend George are conspiring against him. What if heÃÂs right? The film is honest about how the hospital is not only for mental patients. Pesky relatives can be put away there involuntarilyÃÂall it takes is an incurious judge at a rudimentary hearing to commit them. ItÃÂs also place where adult children dump their unwanted, elderly parents when theyÃÂre too old to work anymore. And it's a work farm staffed with unpaid patient labor.
The patients are treated by insulin therapy, shock therapy and hydrotherapy; all these techniques seem brutal and medieval. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Fred is issued a pair of denim overalls (the women wear calico housedresses) and is treated with insulin therapy (whatever that is). Finally, heÃÂs considered cured and happily leaves the hospital in the company of the same Betty and George who got him locked up in the first place. And how sane are they? Betty looks tense and withdrawn. George seems manic. No wonder they put Fred on edge. Now that he knows the ropes, maybe Fred can turn the tables on them. George especially, looks like a good candidate for some of the hospitalÃÂs ÃÂtreatments.ÃÂ
Pretty wild and dated exploration of what can happen once Uncle Charlie hits the looney ward. It starts off with a VERY curious title card which says 'Recognizable Personages appearing in this film are not patients in a mental hospital", I have absolutely no idea what that means. An unlucky man thinks that everyone is conspiring against him and he is shipped off to the mental hospital to get better. After bathing him (can't he do that himself?) giving him a shot, collecting spinal cord fluid (!!) from him, he's put through wacky psychological tests. I am not too sure what the picture test was, but I think it was "Spot the Loony". After that, he's put in front of doctors and nurses and evaluated (or put on display). From there comes treatment, which involves analysis, insulin and shock therapy (shown very mildly here, as if it were a cakewalk), and some rather odd treatment methods (Hydrotherapy and "Sedative Packs"). All throughout this, we see some shots of "mentally ill" people, some of which are, and some of which arent (aging seniors who aren't wanted anymore and yes, homosexuals). Soon, after treatment for awhile, the male subject we've been following greets his family and takes a cigarrette from the doctor. He's not shaking any more, so he must be well! Rather inspired lunacy, and is highly reccomended!
July 7, 2003 Subject:
The usual PR
This 1953 film, sponsored by the University of Oklahoma, tries to make you feel OK about "modern" treatment (institutionalisation, insulin shock and electro shock) of mental illness and reduce the stigma, yet begins and ends with a full screen disclaimer: "Recognizable personages appearing in this film are not patients in a mental institution" which nullifies its believability. I guess the target audience of this film would have been the Oklahoma state legislature and relatives of the potentially committed.